Thursday, September 27, 2007

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

There are lots of things to complain about here, so I found it pretty vomitious to see James Yangetmai not only complaining about a group like PAWS that rescues starving, abused, suffering pets and tries to find them basic care and a home, but completely distorting the facts. Yangetmai is upset because according to him his niece didn't get her $200 reward in a timely fashion in a place where the government takes months, if not years, if ever, to pay its bills.

I found this whole account unlikely, so I emailed PAWS President Katie Busenkell, and here is what she said: "Mr. Yangetmai's niece never contacted PAWS - about anything - finding the dog, trying to find the owner, or complaining about the reward. PAWS just publishes descriptions and pictures of lost dogs, and a reward if people want to offer one. That's it. We don't get involved in the reward thing - just putting people in contact."

From Yangetmai's letter:

"The Good Samaritan lady who found and provided shelter and cared for Jake for
at least four days is my niece. I was appalled to find out from her yesterday
that the promised reward has not been given, and her repeated calls to PAWS and
the Public Defender’s Office has gone unanswered. I find it disturbing to learn
that PAWS and the pet owners are deceptive in their quest to find their missing
pets, and I hope that this practice of promising what they never intend to give
comes to a halt. And now I wonder how long this deception has been, and how many
of our people have been lied to. "

Oh, the humanity. James, here is my email, I suspect four days of feeding someone's lost dog was $20 at the most. I'll reimburse your niece for the trauma of reuniting a family with their pet. Send me her mailing address and I'll send a check. Please remember in the future to teach all your young nieces that if they help some little old lady cross the street, don't forget to ask grandma for money for shoe leather reimbursement. What kind of community are we living in where basic human compassion and concern requires a cash reward?

To the people at PAWS, please keep rescuing animals in your free time and raising awareness to needless suffering, please ignore that awful letter and please remember that no good deed goes unpunished.

Here is what the dog owner who didn't pay the reward had to say.

Update Two
Here is another letter from James Yangetmai. I don't even care about the theft or no theft aspect of this fiasco. I care about the money grubbing, unneighborly, tarnishing PAWS erroneously nature of it. This comment was particularly awful: "Like many people on Saipan my niece had never heard of or even cared about PAWS until the morning she saw the KSPN 2 news rebroadcast." James' two letters are the most revolting things I've seen in the newspaper since the Filipinos go home protest. Are you aware we're surrounded by ocean James? How could you possibly not be aware of PAWS, the tv, radio, newspaper, blog and word of mouth didn't get to you?


lil_hammerhead said...

Yes Jeff, it would be nice if everyone did good deeds for the sake of good deeds and didn't expect anything. I can't agree with you more on that point.

But, the fact that PAWS does feature the lost pets, and notes the rewards on their site, would seemingly make them somewhat responsible, if for nothing else, not fully verifying the information that is posted on their site.

Rewards are offered for a reason. To encourage an action, in this case the return of a lost dog, and to show thanks for the good deed. An unpaid reward only serves to hurt the chances of the return of "lost" pets in the future.

PAWS does great work, but they should do a bit of verification before accepting a reward notice. $200 is $200, and if that is what was offered, the owner of the animal should pay the reward.. and to help forward the return of future animals, PAWS should help recover the reward.

Just to be fair, I did not read the full letter that you referred to.

Jeff said...

If it's published in the tribune, does the tribune have the responsibility?

PAWS is a handful of people trying to help animals, usually after their day jobs. It isn't the Red Cross with those coffers.

I find this whole thing vile, and not just a little bit.

bradinthesand said...

who was offering the reward: paws or the owner?

Jeff said...

The owner: Read Katie's Quote: "PAWS just publishes descriptions and pictures of lost dogs, and a reward if people want to offer one. That's it. We don't get involved in the reward thing - just putting people in contact."

And even if it was PAWS, the letter is still crass.

lil_hammerhead said...

Well, I've read Mr. Yangetmai's entire letter now. I think it was a fair letter. He said "through PAWS", he stated that it was not about the money, but about living up to what you say you're going to do, and he encouraged people to keep on returning found pets.

lil_hammerhead said...

And with regard to the Tribune question "if it is published in the tribune, does the tribune have responsibility"? Yes, to a reasonable degree they do. Their responsibility if notified would be to not accept any further items from the advertiser. If it was a false advertisement and they received complaint, it would seem they have some responsibility to investigate this or report it to higher authorities. If the complaint was made in a public fashion, they would have the responsibility to respond publicly and detail the steps they've taken on their part to reasonably address the situation.

This doesn't mean pay the money. It simply means that they should contact the party and request an explanation as to why the reward wasn't paid, and they should pass that on to the affected party. If a suitable reason is not provided, they should offer their assistance to Mr. Yangetmai's neice with regard to any litigation she may opt to pursue. And by assistance, I don't mean financially. This is in their interest. Whose going to trust their postings if rewards aren't paid.

It seemed to me that Mr. Yangetmai was simply trying to assist his neice, who he feels may have been taken advantage of.

Jeff said...

Whenever someone says it's not about the money, it's always about the money. Every time.

And it doesn't strike you as a wee bit F ed up to bring up the idea of litigation to get reward money for returning someone's lost dog?

lil_hammerhead said...

No. If someone offers a reward, you should expect their good faith to pay that reward. If not, they duped the public and that's what the legal system's for.

lil_hammerhead said...

Well I read Adam Hardwicke's response. It is obvious he never intended to pay the reward from the get go. He is making horrible insinuations about the credibility of the girl. He has the audacity to suggest that it's her obligation to create and post "found dog" posters around Capitol Hill.

After reading this.. I hope Mr. Yangetmai helps his neice take Mr. Hardwicke to the cleaners.

Jeff said...

He says they took his dog and returned it for reward money and you want the victim "taken to the cleaners?"

I don't get it.

Jeff said...

He didn't say it is her obligation to make fliers, he is saying calling her a good samaritan is ridiculous since she, according to him, took his dog and returned it for reward money.

She isn't a good samaritan. Good samaritans are generally not after a payout.

bradinthesand said...

his niece may have stolen the dog in the first place but i think he should pay a reward for returning the dog.

while i would be more apt to side with adam on this one about the true intentions of the family who returned the prodigal pooch, he still should have paid if he offered a reward.

again, i think the people probably dognapped jake, but adam made himself look like an ass in the paper with his response.

he's smarter than that. at least he wrote back, but i feel he did so without a level head.

it'll all blow over in time and i think paws will not suffer any ill will from the community as a result.

Dominic said...

What about CrimeStoppers? Should they only pay a $1000 reward if the person who reports criminals is judged to be deserving by whatever criteria they come up with?

lil_hammerhead said...

So your premise is then Jeff... the neice had this big plot to steal the dog knowing that Mr. Hardwicke was going to offer a reward, and then return it so that she could pocket a couple hundred dollars?

Why not go all the way.. she stole the dog knowing he would offer a reward, but also knowing that he wouldn't pay, wherein she could then take him to court for more than just the $200.

Jeff said...

So can you commit a crime, turn yourself in at greater profit via crimestoppers, and do essentially a criminal arbitrage. I think that's outrageous.

If someone kidnapped a child, a crime of course, the distraught mother promises to pay a ransom and not call the cops, so the kidnapper gives the kid back, but receives phoney bills and the cops arrest him after the phone call to the police, should the kidnapper file a lawsuit since the promise was broken?

Taking something that isn't yours is a crime, too. It's not all that different.

lil_hammerhead said...

Well, then Mr. Hardwicke should have taken his "dognapping" case to higher authorities and not simply posted a reward ad on PAWS. If he knew this woman had stolen his dog, he should have called the police. They would have investigated the matter.

He didn't. This sounds like a made up story to me. He got his dog and thinks he can now save $200.

marianas life said...

every time i let my dogs out i wonder if someone is going to take them. when they don't return when we call, i get a momentary feeling of panic. if she did steal the dog then she shouldn't be entitled to the reward. her uncle is being alittle too sanctimonious. i would have saught the owner out like adam suggested. if we had a humane society or shelter, i would have taken the dog there hoping the owner might check there. if we had licensing and dog tags, a phone number would be available and a number for animal control to varify to find the owner. I've used these services in the states and had animals returned as a result of the phone numbers etched on a tiny piece of metal on the collar of the dog.

Jeff said...

No, I'm not saying that. According to his account, someone saw his nice looking, well cared for dog and took it. Something he found out later. He posted a reward when he first thought it ran off, and $200 then seemed more appealing than the dog to the "good samaritan."

He didn't know it was taken at first, he thought it was only lost. That story is not all that implausible to me.

And what makes you think anyone gives a damn about dogs on this island? I saw a cop needlessly execute one in front of my house a few months back, drive off and leave its bloody, dying corpse in front of my neighbor's apartment, and for my kids to see. It was in the papers.

lil_hammerhead said...

Like I stated earlier then, if someone, having seen his dog then reported it to him, he should have contacted the police, or gone over to the place where the dog was and talked to the people who had it.

"he thought it was only lost"? So how did a sighting change his opinion? I don't get it.

If this was "taking the law into your own hands", then he's wrong to have done it. It could've turned out a whole lot worse for Mr. Hardwicke. He might not have gotten a written response from Mr. Yangetmai for the unpaid reward. He may have ended up with a midnight visit by a group of pissed off Yapese.

Melissa said...

Jeff, thanks for bringing this subject up. As a lawyer, I won't get into the legal raminfications of this, other than to say that stealing something with the idea of receiving a posted reward can also be looked at as extortion.

As PAWS vice president, I will say that PAWS does everything we can to reunite lost pets with their owners, and we are doing all that we can to educate the community on responsible pet ownership, and the benefits and joys of having a loved, well-cared for pet.

We are a small organization, always looking for more members (and with lots of opportunities to get involved coming up in October- stay tuned), but doing the best we can with the resources we have. We are people with full-time jobs, and families, (and some with BOTH) and we do this because we love animals and are passionate about their welfare. We don't do it for political reasons, or to try and keep someone from getting 200 bucks.

As Katie said, all rewards are between the lost pets owner and the person who is seeking the reward. I won't even address this Hammerhead guy, who has probably the most skewed version of the legal system as I've ever seen.

But, as I said, thanks, Jeff, for bringing this to the forefront. PAWS has worked and is working diligently to help the animals of our island, because the benefits of the improved lives of our island's animals will result in the greater good of the island- less boonie dogs, higher property values, better public health, and increased tourism.

Jeff said...

I'm not really following you there,lil.

I am quite frankly astonished at your, and some others, reaction to this. More concern about money promises than decent citizenship and alleged theft doesn't compute on this end. This doesn't even get at the needless and inaccurate tarnishing of PAWS, which includes some very hard working, compassionate people.

Anonymous [#006] said...

lil_hammerhead said...
"He is making horrible insinuations about the credibility of the girl."

lil_hammerhead said...
"So your premise is then ... the neice had this big plot to steal the dog knowing that [the victin] was going to offer a reward, and then return it so that she could pocket a couple hundred dollars?"

No. The dognapper is not a child, but an adult, with a child of her own. She wanted the dog for her son. According to the victim,

"Your niece knew that Jake belonged to someone because he was wearing a brand new bright orange collar. She knew he wasn't lost because he was clean, smart, approachable, and well behaved, not how anyone would describe the mannerisms of a truly lost dog. She liked Jake, her son liked Jake, and so they took him home."

lil_hammerhead said...
"He should have taken his "dognapping" case to higher authorities and not simply posted a reward ad on PAWS. If he knew this woman had stolen his dog, he should have called the police. They would have investigated the matter."

Nonsense. First, there is no evidence the victim knew of the theft at the time he posted a reward for his "missing" dog. Second, DPS doesn't even have the resources or community cooperation to solve numerous burglaries, as the Public Defender is well aware. This is precisely the sort of low-level crime where self-help would be appropriate.

The unreasonable nature of your "legal shakedown" position would be made quite clear if the dognapper lady actually followed through on your advice to sue her victim so as to be rewarded for her theft.

The offer of a reward is not unconditional. It certainly is not intended to reward wrongdoers unless plainly so stated, such as with a "No questions asked" provision that essentially absolves the wrongdoer. Such, provisions, however, are bad public policy because they actually encourage crime.

lil_hammerhead said...

Well.. if it was "extortion" than the authorities definitely should have been contacted.

Pay the reward you offered. If you didn't intend to, and the authorities weren't involved in your "sting operation", then you should be out $200.

All Mr. Hardwicke has done, and the folks sticking up for him, is ensure that others don't pay attention to reward notices.

lil_hammerhead said...

P.S. - "this hammerhead guy" is an older mother with four kids and Four dogs. Four dogs who have lived healthy and happy lives. As I've said in an earlier statement, PAWS does good work. If you don't think incidents of people posting rewards for lost animals that go unpaid will hurt efforts to return lost pets to owners, you're not thinking all that clearly. Joe Schmoe is not going to take a dog in, feed and keep it for a week or two, spot a reward poster and discover the animal is someone elses and then return it, if they think they'll get screwed out of the reward.

Jeff said...

I guess I'm never going to understand that view of helping my neighbor on a common neighborly task as business or even thinking of a reward in such a situation, let alone being worried about being "screwed out of" one, especially if I took my neighbor's dog, which makes it even more absurd. If that's the way it is, Saipan isn't the place I always thought it was.

saipanboonieman said...

well then maybe thats a good thing. maybe itll send a signal out to those who would deliberately take someone elses dog in hopes of being offered a reward, that they wont be getting any! maybe that'll discourage this ridiculous mentality that its okay to take someone's property just because it's there to be taken!

look, just like it's not okay to take someone's parked car, even though it may look "lost", it's not okay to take a dog that, as mr. hardwicke pointed out, is obviously not "lost". the dog had a collar, was clean, and unlike a boonie-dog, not skin-n-bones. this is simply a case of someone seeing a dog, liking it, taking it when no one was looking, then finding out later that they might be able to turn a quick $200 by being a "good samaritan". not my idea of rewardable behavior.

you dont give a bank robber a portion of the money he stole if he decides to return it, it's still theft and deserves no reward.

Tamara said...

I wonder, was the dog running around free in the neighborhood or was it inside Mr. Hardwicke's enclosed yard, or on a leash?? If it was running around loose in the neighborhood, I can see someone picking it up and taking it home probably thinking no one is taking care of it. Katie (from PAWS) has written about finding abandoned dogs with Collars on them before so having a collar on wouldn't necessarily mean the dog was being taken care of...Anway, I think if the dog was running free in the neighborhood and these people picked it up and took it home, not knowingly stealing someone's pet, then the little girl should get the reward for returning it. Now if they went into Mr. Hardwicke's yard and "stole" the dog or took it off a leash or something...that's a different story...

lil_hammerhead said...

I think you're taking a great leap with that one boonieman. Why would you, or for that matter any of the commentors automatically believe Mr. Hardwicke over the Yapese woman? I won't make any insinuations as to why I think this happens.

lil_hammerhead said...

... all that active conversation and suddenly crickets?

I'd like an explanation from anyone whose sided through commentary with Mr. Hardwicke, as to why they opted to believe him over the Yapese woman.

Jeff said...

Not that it matters, but I don't think she's Yapese. I think she's Carolinian. At least I'm 99 percent sure James is.

lil_hammerhead said...

Yapese are Carolinians, and Yangetmai is a Yapese name.

lil_hammerhead said...

- and if it matters, James has a fairly thick Yapese accent.

saipanboonieman said...

tamara, you bring up a good point on where the dog was found. if it was found wandering up in marpi suffering from starvation, stinky, unwashed, and with a dirty collar eating into its neck much like the dog katie from paws wrote about, then yes, i would regard that dog lost and wouldnt blame anyone for picking it up and taking it home. but is that the case here?

Jeff said...

He identified himself to me as Carolinian, not Yapese.

Jeff said...

Not according to the owner of the dog. His quote:

"Your niece knew that Jake belonged to someone because he was wearing a brand new bright orange collar. She knew he wasn't lost because he was clean, smart, approachable, and well behaved, not how anyone would describe the mannerisms of a truly lost dog. She liked Jake, her son liked Jake, and so they took him home."

lil_hammerhead said...

That doesn't even come close to mean they knew whose dog it was, let alone jump to the conclusion that they "snatched" it. According to Mr. Hardwicke himself, he thought it was lost.

Many missing animals have collars. I've found a couple dogs with collars many years ago and had no clue who owned the dogs.

So again - why does a body of commentors tend to believe Mr. Hardwicke and not the Yapese woman (she is Yapese). I still haven't heard any explanation for this. I'm sure it's an uncomfortable question for some and it looks to me like it's being avoided.

Anonymous said...

if no reward is delivered.. the next time someone finds a missing dog, they are going to sell it to certain ethnic restaurants..

seriously, who knew if the dog was kidnapped/snatched or what..but at the end of the day the dog was recovered.. i totally agree with hammerhead.. you can't turn around and start questioning the person who found the dog after the dog is recovered and not deliver what was promised....

Tamara said...

Boonieman, I really don't know...I don't have all the facts and it would be unfair for me to make any judgement...I was trying to gather some additional seems most of the facts we have are from the dog owner...there are always two sides to a story...sometimes three :) I would like to hear the story from the actual person who found/took/borrowed/stole the dog...

glend558 said...

Lets just ask the dog.....

bradinthesand said...

"I'd like an explanation from anyone whose sided through commentary with Mr. Hardwicke, as to why they opted to believe him over the Yapese woman."

i sided with adam because i know him and he seems to be a fair kind of guy...that's it. i didn't know the lady was yapese.

i don't know the other guy who wrote the letter, but his argument seemed to be based on making the reader feel sympathy for his "little niece" who was unable to fend for herself.

apparently that wasn't the case.

i don't care what race or nationality someone is and don't take that into account when making decisions.

all i know is that paws wasn't offering the reward, the owner was. that said, i think that paws should be sure that its owners deposit the reward with paws before posting rewards in the future before endorsing and publicizing anything of the like in the future.

fair enough?

and if it's any consolation, i like yap lime.

Jeff said...

THey probably don't believe her side because it's so tawdry to be so focused on reward money for returning a neighbor's dog.

saipanboonieman said...

wait a second, i thought this was about the issues of being a good samaritan and rewards? the thought of ethnicity never even crossed my mind until you pointed it out.

and my post did not "automatically" take mr. hardwicke's side. ive read mr. yangetmai's letter, ive read mr. hardwicke's letter, ive read the posts of others here on this thread including yours, and applied my belief of citizenship and samaritan-ism(?) to come up with my position. please dont accuse me of "automatically" believing one side over another based on ethnicity. would you care to answer the question of why you "automatically" believe the "Yapese woman" over mr. hardwicke?

lil_hammerhead said...

I don't necessarily believe the Yapese woman. I stated that a reward was posted, the woman returned the dog, as far as all of us here know she did nothing illegal, there is know evidence of her snatching the dog from Mr. Hardwicke's property and therefore, Mr. Hardwicke has an obligation based on the statements of his own letter, to pay the lady the reward.

The question about why individuals believe Hardwicke over this woman, when there is absolutely no evidence that would incriminate this woman in any activity that was illegal was totally appropriate.

Melissa said...

PAWS is in no way associated with the rewards. If an owner wants to offer a reward, we will include that information in the FREE posting PAWS does for the owner who has lost an animal. PAWS will not be the holder of the funds for the rewards, because we are a non-profit agency, and a SMALL one at that, with limited funds of our own. We don't want to be the ones to determine who should or should not receive a reward, since we are not the ones offering it or endorsing it.

With that sort of logic, the local papers should be liable if they post an employment posting that offers a salary, and then the employee doesn't get paid-- and the employee goes to Labor to get the monies owed to him. Maybe we should start making the papers parties to the action... at least under that reasoning. Which is ludicrous, at best.

The bottom line with this situation is that you shouldn't take things that don't belong to you. (NOW PLEASE BE CLEAR, hammerhead, I am not making any judgments about what happened here, I'm just assessing the lesson to be learned). If you find a dog that is well cared for, and well behaved, on Saipan there is a big liklhood that it is a dog that is owned and loved by someone. Do the right thing. Call PAWS or the paper, or someone and get the word out that you have found a dog.

But please don't think that PAWS is responsible for anything having to do with this reward. It isn't. We ARE trying to educate the community on responsible pet ownership, and are more than happy to assist pet owners in any way that we can. We are always looking for volunteers to help out, so if you are interested-- anyone-- please let me know. We would love to have your help.

lil_hammerhead said...

You're missing (or avoiding) my whole point Melissa. That is, when a reward is not paid, future efforts to return lost pets will be harmed.

And you have come to some conclusions... you've stated twice here and on the PAWS blog that the woman "took" the dog, and the language used insinuates something questionable or illegal took place. Maybe we are just not getting all of the details about this incident, because nothing that's been written by you, the commentors here or in Mr. Hardwicke's letter spells out any direct and specific (with details) incident of theft.

For all we know, the woman found the dog, didn't know who it belonged to and kept it. She saw the reward advertisement and returned it.

Jeff said...

If it takes a reward to help your neighbors, we as a community have bigger problems than the fact that people might now start blowing off reward fliers.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

I think the niece should repo the dog.

saipanboonieman said...

the yapese woman may not have deliberately "stolen" the dog. but she found a dog that was not starving (as i posted earlier), clean and with a brand new collar. the fact that she thought nothing of taking it/bringing it/giving it a ride/allowing it to follow her home, or whatever else you want to call it, despite all the signs of belonging to someone, and yet made no real effort to find a "possible" owner, shows a real lack of regard/sense of decent citizenship, and i may be judgmental in saying so.

or we could all just have totally different ideas of what responsible citizenship is. and maybe bruce is right, maybe she should just go and repo it.

i respect your ideas hammerhead, and you maybe right that this will actually harm future efforts to find lost pets, but i think we're arguing in circles. and i agree with jeff that if that is the case, then we have bigger problems to worry about here in the cnmi.

lil_hammerhead said...

When we ignore the "little" injustices, we sew seed for the greater injustices.

Lurn_Me said...

I think we're not seeing the bigger picture here. People who are inherently decent, who have a conscience, will do the right thing, whether or not they will receive a reward. Integrity isn't something that can be bought. UNFORTUNATELY, these people aren't always the ones who come upon our lost items. Regardless of race or creed - there are people out there who have no qualms about keeping what doesn't belong to them and justifying those actions. For these people, we need a reward system. That's part of what rewards do - they give people who otherwise wouldn't do the right thing, an incentive to do the right thing.

The objective was to get the dog back. The means was the reward. Obviously. Had that not been offered, Hardwick's dog wouldn't be safe at home with him today. Personally, it would make my skin crawl to have to pay someone whom I perceived to have intentionally stolen something from me (whether or not the allegations were grounded in hard facts). But if that's the only way to get back what belongs to me, then so be it.

Good people are good people, and they will choose to do the right thing. For the others, we can only hope to offer them something to influence their actions towards good.

Please give the girl's family the money.

Lurn_Me said...

On another note, PAWS needs to launch a public education campaign on specific steps people can take to return found animals... and what a lost animal that might belong to someone would look like.

lil_hammerhead said...

Right on "Lurn me". Continue "Lurning them".

Anonymous [#006] said...

I'll say it again, since at least two subsequent posters seem to have missed the point.

The reward seeker is NOT a little girl, but a grown woman with a son of her own!

The grandfather who teaches at MHS and who wrote the original complaint letter has written a much longer explanatory letter, published today in the Marianas Variety. (I won't link to it yet, because the MV link always changes after the first day.)

He provides his adult daughter's side of the story, setting forth corroborating witnesses tending to disprove the "dognapping" theory.

For the record, my original credence to the victim's letter was based absolutely not one iota on race -- shame on you, lil_hammerhead for gratuitously injecting ethnicity into this discussion -- but on the prevalance of dog theft in our community, and circumstances described as consistent with same.

However, as further circumstances are described -- dog allowed to go an an unescorted walk around the neighborhood, other witnesses seeing the dog, possible other witnesses to the adult woman taking the "lost" dog home -- the situation becomes more cloudy or even tends toward the finder's favor.

This thread should serve to caution all of us, myself included, of the sin of "rash judgment."

I have often been concerned with the lack of respect for truth and reputation exhibited in the two local newspapers. When it comes to political or legal matters, often at least half of the reporting is flat-out wrong.

The blogging sphere offers us an opportunity to correct that. Unfortunately, the "junior high school lunchroom" style friendly ribbing and teasing can often degenerate into much worse, as we have seen.

The problem is not anonymous posters such as myself. The problem is a lack of civility and charity, and perhaps we are learning.

Turning back to the topic at hand, it is definitely not a good idea to pay ransom to terrorist kidnappers, and equally ill-advised to offer no-questions-asked rewards (which this was certainly not) for stolen dogs.

Such expedient payments are selfish, putting one's own needs (even for a loved human's return) above the good of society.

I say this as someone who has had two dogs stolen and presumably eaten -- no, they did not "wander off," we heard a shot found blood stains in one instance -- and who has given my spouse instructions not to pay ransom, under any circumstances, if I am kidnapped in another country.

That is also the policy of the U.S. military. Don't pay ransom for hostages. It only makes society worse.

lil_hammerhead said...

But when commentors make a "rash" decision to support one of the parties, without enough evidence to make any kind of real judgement, you have to consider all of the angles, and to suggest that race/ethnicity doesn't ever play a role in such decisions would be ludicrous. Consciously or subconsciously, race usually plays a role in our decision making. It's sad, but true.

lil_hammerhead said...

I think all of the commentors here should read Mr. Yangetmai's letter in today's Marianas Variety. It helps confirm the points I've made.

Additionally, I think pet lovers island-wide should thank Dr. Tudor for paying the $200 reward that Mr. Hardwicke should have paid.

Mike said...

If PAWS cared about responsible pet ownership, they would tell Adam to keep his dog in his yard, and also keep his promises.

Just my uninformed opinion.

Anonymous said...

Mike, you continue to be a friend to the animals. Were you attacked by a vicious yorkie as a child?

lil_hammerhead said...

I do agree mike.

Mike said...

I don't know how I can "continue" when this is my first comment on the topic, but no, I wasn't attacked by a Yorkie as a child.

I was, however, attacked by a dog in Saipan while I was Rollerblading. But I don't blame the dog. I blame the owner for not keeping the dog in the yard.

So I likewise feel Adam brought this upon himself by not keeping his dog in his yard.

If that makes me not "a friend of the animals" I guess I'll have to live with that.

Ron M said...

I think that person was referring to the fact that whenever animal issues via PAWS come before the Senate, you use your unelected position to pander to your local political bosses and their open indifference to animal suffering. It's probably good for your job though. Who cares if dogs starve and suffer. Where's the reward. Stay out my yard. Well said Michael Vick.

saipanboonieman said...

i read the letter in the varitety today. it finally brings out a clearer version of the finder's side of the events to be compared with mr. hardwicke's version. there are discrepancies between the two, as there almost always is in these kinds of cases, so i dont think this is going to help resolve any of the issues in dispute here. (3 sides of every story: his, theirs, and the truth).

hammerhead, again, you are making insinuations of "rash judgment" about believing one side of the story over the other without answering why you yourself are so "quick" to believe the other side.

let me just state very clearly here that i am not saying mr. hardwicke was correct in every aspect. he should have had dog tags on that collar (they're very cheap insurance in case your dog gets lost). but my opinions are not based on his ethnicity, the dog finders ethnicity, or even my ethnicity whatsoever. i based my opinions (and that's all they are) on my personal beliefs in what citizenship means to me and on what I would have done if i had come across that dog. i am also not saying that the dog finder is a bad person, they did afterall feed the dog after bringing it home with them.

marianas life said...

why is everything always about race here? and by the way, race is a construct created by Western European men to justify slavery. It doesn't really exist. Yapese is not a race, its an ethnicity, and Yap is an island in the Caroline Island chain. What does it matter.

What's your ethnicity lil hammerhead? You're the one that brought up race in the first place insinuating that mr. yangetmai would send an angry mob of yapese men to mr. hardwicke's house.

based on the initial details of the story it clearly seemed suspicious that someone had in fact taken the dog and then maybe out of guilt or incentive of a reward tried to return it. rewards shouldn't be necessary. that reflects the lack of concern for animals in general. i would return the animal regardless.

obviously, more details about this story have come to light. and perhaps Adam was a bit rash in his judgement and yes he should not have let his dog wander loose. what's more disturbing about this is that its turning into a huge todo in the paper and instead of people working it out in private, the whole island has to read about. guess its our own version of days of our lives.

lil_hammerhead said...

Believe it or not Jeff.. a great many people here do not know about PAWS. I could ask any given relative of mine and they couldn't tell me what it was. You live in a little different world than a great number of people here.. despite all of us being surrounded by a an ocean here.

Mr. Yangetmai's letter was spot on.

lil_hammerhead said...

Boonieman - There aren't really "discrepancies" between the two.. Mr. Yangetmai's letter spells out the events in detail and in their entirety. Mr. Hardwicke's letter makes undetailed insinuations and loose accusations.

lil_hammerhead said...

Just as a point of note: The PAWS Blog has removed its statement about Mr. Yangetmai's neice "taking" the dog.

Mike said...

In your fantasy land where I dictate what my bosses do, do I get their salaries, too?

Just curious.

Jeff said...

I guess it's a world where people read the newspaper, hear the radio and watch the tv news at least periodically, and in that world, it's impossible not to know about PAWS, but as I said, the not caring part is totally believable. The attitude toward and the condition of animals here is atrocious. Instead of supporting the five or six people who give a damn, someone trashes them over money.

I'm done with this discussion. It's too depressing. I've made my points.

Mike said...


I see your point. In a perfect world, people would always do the right thing without wanting a reward. I can see why you're frustrated.

But I can see why the guy wrote the letter too, though. I agree that he should have kept PAWS out of it. His beef was with Adam, not PAWS.

saipanboonieman said...

me too.

lil hammerhead, youre entitled to your opinions,and so are the rest of us. it has nothing to do with ethnicity, at least not in my book. mr. yangmetai has his version, and im sure mr. hardwicke would also have a more complete and detailed account of his version.

so with all that has been said, may i suggest that we all just agree to disagree?

but i thank you and appreciate your honest and thoughtful debate.

and thank you too, jeff, for posting this in the first place. 68 comments man!! not bad!

Jeff said...

You're exactly right Mike. PAWS should have been left out of it. His beef was with Adam.

I know Katie and Melissa is my neighbor, and I know what they do and how they work, what they devote and how they care, and tarnishing that is obscene.

lil_hammerhead said...

- With regard to MarianasLife's statement about racism beginning with the European slave trade.. this is utter nonsense. The Egyptians used Nubians, the Persians made slaves of various ethnicities, on and on. As I said, I believe race often plays a role in our decision-making, whether consciously or subconsciously. I didn't suggest that only people of European decent are racist. Racism abounds in almost every culture. And if you don't think race plays any role in your decision-making, it's probably because it is subconscious, as it is in most cases.

Mike said...

I appreciate today's PAWS letter to the editor.

marianas life said...

i didn't mean it began in Europe, i mean the term and the process of categorizing people by skin color as a science. obviously all groups of people discriminate against others for any number of reasons, but what I meant was the label of race as we know it today and use it to describe groups of people is something invented and twisted into a "science" to justify the slave trade and colonization.

i'm just tired of race being used because its too simplistic and doesn't always describe the prejudice at hand. if we use race as a description, then all micronesian islanders would be in one category and that is problematic because everyday the chamoro kids discriminate against the chuukese kids where I work. and if we say pacific islander or southeast asian that would include the Filipinos and clearly they aren't liked much either. and i don't like race as a descriptor because white doesn't define me. Nor does American for that matter.

lil_hammerhead said...

The fact is whether you like it or not, deep down in some form race even plays a role in decisions you might make. Any psychologist will tell you that.

And as for the "twisted science", again.. many ancient cultures developed similar "twisted sciences" with regards to the races.